TitleA tale of two rhythms: Locked clocks and chaos in biology.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHeltberg ML, Krishna S, Kadanoff LP, Jensen MH
JournalCell Syst
Date Published2021 Apr 21

The fundamental mechanisms that control and regulate biological organisms exhibit a surprising level of complexity. Oscillators are perhaps the simplest motifs that produce time-varying dynamics and are ubiquitous in biological systems. It is also known that such biological oscillators interact with each other-for instance, circadian oscillators affect the cell cycle, and somitogenesis clock proteins in adjacent cells affect each other in developing embryos. Therefore, it is vital to understand the effects that can emerge from non-linear interaction between oscillations. Here, we show how oscillations typically arise in biology and take the reader on a tour through the great variety in dynamics that can emerge even from a single pair of coupled oscillators. We explain how chaotic dynamics can emerge and outline the methods of detecting this in experimental time traces. Finally, we discuss the potential role of such complex dynamical features in biological systems.

Alternate JournalCell Syst
PubMed ID33887201